Competition Policy with Optimally Differentiated Rules Instead of "Per se Rules vs. Rule of Reason"
Abstract: Both in US antitrust and EU competition policy a development to a broader appli-cation of rule of reason instead of per se rules can be observed. In the European discussion the attempt to base competition policy on a "more economic approach" is mainly viewed as im-proving the economic analysis in the assessment of specific cases. In this paper it is shown from a general law and economics perspective that the application of rules instead of focus-sing on case-by-case analyses can have many advantages (less regulation costs, rent seeking and knowledge problems), although an additional differentiation of rules through a deeper assessment can also have advantages in regard to the reduction of decision errors of type I and II. After introducing the notion of a continuum of more or less differentiated rules, we show - based upon law and economics literature upon the optimal complexity of rules - in a simple model that a competition rule is optimally differentiated, if the marginal reduction of the sum of error costs (as the marginal benefit of differentiation) equals the marginal costs of differen-tiation. This model also allows for a more detailed analysis of the most important determi-nants of the optimal degree of rule-differentia¬tion. From this law and economics perspective, competition policy should consist mainly of (more or less differentiated) rules and should only rarely rely on case-by-case analysis. Therefore the main task of a "more economic ap-proach" is to use economics for the formulation of appropriate competition rules.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Universitätsstraße 25, 35037 Marburg|
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ben-Porath, E., 1991.
"Repeated games with Finite Automata,"
7-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
- Ehud Kalai & William Stanford, 1986.
"Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games,"
679, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kalai, Ehud & Stanford, William, 1988. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 397-410, March.
- Damien Neven, 2002. "Discrepancies Between Markets and Regulators: an Analysis of the First ten Years of EU Merger Control," IHEID Working Papers 10-2002, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
- Faith, Roger L & Leavens, Donald R & Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Antitrust Pork Barrel," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 329-42, October.
- Isaac Ehrlich & Richard A. Posner, 1974. "An Economic Analysis of Legal Rulemaking," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 257-286, January.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Extent of the Market and the Supply of Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1445-1473.
- Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1993. "Contested Mergers and Equilibrium Antitrust Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29, April.
- Ogus, Anthony, 1992. "Information, error costs and regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-421, December.
- Paul L. Joskow, 2002. "Transaction Cost Economics, Antitrust Rules, and Remedies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 95-116, April.
- Ronald Heiner, 1990. "Rule-governed behavior in evolution and human society," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, December.
- Lando, Henrik & Shavell, Steven, 2004. "The advantage of focusing law enforcement effort," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 209-218, June.
- Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816632, Junio.
- Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1989. "Legal Error, Litigation, and the Incentive to Obey the Law," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 99-108, Spring.
- Baumol, William J & Ordover, Janusz A, 1985. "Use of Antitrust to Subvert Competition," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 247-65, May.
- John Vickers, 2005. "Abuse of Market Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(504), pages F244-F261, 06.
- Brunetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1998.
"Credibility of Rules and Economic Growth: Evidence from a Worldwide Survey of the Private Sector,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 353-84, September.
- Brunnetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1997. "Credibility of rules and economic growth : evidence from a worldwide survey of the private sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1760, The World Bank.
- Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, Junio.
- Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-25, Part I Ju.
- STEPHEN WILKS & LEE McGOWAN, 1995. "Disarming the Commission: The Debate over a European Cartel Office," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 259-273, 06.
- Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Antitrust Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 408-25, June.
- Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A Model of the Optimal Complexity of Legal Rules," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 150-63, April.
- Paul G. Mahoney & Chris William Sanchirico, 2005. "General and Specific Legal Rules," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 329-, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mar:volksw:200606. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernd Hayo)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.